Of the many justly earned superlatives to have been used to describe Torpor’s music, there is perhaps one that rings most true; cathartic. There is something undeniably purgative and purifying deep at the heart of their crushing, heaving blend of noise, sludge, and post metal.

Formed in 2012, their 2015 debut ‘From Nothing Comes Everything’ was a mere hint of what was to come, a larval combination of hooky riffs, hardcore screams and more experimental dynamics – the only elements that would survive the seven years hence. Winnowing down to a three piece, something that would cripple lesser bands gave Torpor a more vital edge. 2016’s split with Bristol’s answer to Neurosis, Sonance, saw the band transformed into a more considered form – world-striding riffs and tectonic rhythms explored as a slow-burn over long form track lengths.

And then, we waited. Three long years passed as the trio threw themselves into the subterranean depths of the UK live heavy music scene, exploring the limits of their suffocating sound in venues that could barely contain the scopic weight. New tracks rose to the surface like scalding, viscid bubbles of tar, ideas hammered into shapes ever more towering.

And now, a rich reward – new album “Rhetoric of the Image”. From the chiming, labyrinthine melancholia and claustrophobic depths of ‘Benign Circle’ to the achingly slow unfurling and savage, lumbering swing of ‘Enigmatic Demand’, ending climactically with the achingly beautiful, hypnotic and unstoppably triumphant drive of ‘Mourning The Real’, all tied with a harrowing, guttural vocal lament. This is the sound of a band continuing to push themselves into ever higher sonic climbs; the trembling, swelling synths, spoken word poetics and clean vocal melodies of ‘Two Heads On Gold’ and ‘Mouths Full Of Water, Throats Full of Ice’ extending tendrils into lush, cinematic soundscapes, providing caesurae from the raging, bleak tempest of their heavier depths.

The Japanese art of Kintsukuroi sees craftspeople mending shattered pottery using precious metals, creating beauty out of the broken. Torpor’s shriving interweaving of brutality and ethereal beauty accomplishes both feats – it will destroy and restore. The exultant sound of a band in their prime arriving at their masterwork.

“Rhetoric of the Image” will be released on 20th September 2019

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